Foreclosure Filings Rise in Half of Nation's MSAs

by devteam April 26th, 2012 | Share

The frequent reports on foreclosure activity issued by RealtyTrac usually focus on national and state level statistics but a report issued this morning looked at foreclosure filings in the 212 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) on which it collects statistics.  Not a lot of conclusions can be drawn from the data.</p

Foreclosure activity increased in 114 of the metropolitan areas with populations of 200,000 or more and in 26 of the nation’s 50 largest cities.  The big cities with the largest increases from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012 were geographically scattered – Pittsburgh (+49 percent), Indianapolis (+37 percent), Philadelphia (+30 percent), New York, +24 percent, Raleigh, North Carolina (+23 Percent), and Virginia Beach, Virginia (+22).    </p

Some of the biggest drops in foreclosure filings were in cities that had been particularly hard hit by foreclosures, Las Vegas was down 26 percent and Salt Lake City fell 22 percent, while other notable decreases, Boston (-21 percent) for example, were in cities that had never ranked high on the list.   Other large cities on with decreased filings were Portland, Oregon (-28 percent), Providence, Rhode Island (-24 percent, and San Jose, California (-21 percent.) </p

“First quarter metro foreclosure trends were a mixed bag,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “While the majority of metro areas continued to show foreclosure activity down from a year ago, more than half reported increasing foreclosure activity from the previous quarter – an early sign that long-dormant foreclosures are coming out of hibernation in many local markets.”    </p

Despite the quarterly increase in more than half of the metro areas tracked in the report, first quarter foreclosure activity was still down compared to the first quarter of 2011 in 135 out of the 212 metro areas (64 percent) and in 33 of the nation’s 50 largest areas including very large drops in Las Vegas (-61 percent), Seattle (-53 percent), and Austin, Texas (-51 percent).</p

Thirty-three of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas posted year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity, led by Las Vegas (down 61 percent), Seattle (down 53 percent), Austin, Texas (down 51 percent), Salt Lake City (down 49 percent), and Buffalo, N.Y. (down 47 percent). The largest increase was in Orlando, Florida (+52 percent) followed by Indianapolis (+41 percent) and Hartford, Connecticut (+38 percent.)   Even with the large quarterly and annual decreases Las Vegas still ranks eighth in foreclosure activity.</p

California still figures large in the overall foreclosure picture. Seven of the top 10 and 11 of the 20 cities with the highest level of filings in the first quarter were in California.  Filings in the top 20 areas ranged from 1 in every 60 households in first place Stockton, California to one in every 113 in Santa Rose/Petaluma, California which ranked 20th.  The national rate of filings is one in every 230 houses.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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